Will a barista with a college degree want to remain a barista? This is the question being asked on the back of Starbuck’s proposed plan to pay for its employees to receive two years of online tuition at Arizona State University.
Research shows that 70% of Starbuck’s 135 000 US employees don’t have undergraduate degrees despite being eligible. What’s more, employees aren’t required to stay with the company after receiving their degrees.
CEO Howard Schultz isn’t concerned this will lead to a mass exodus upon graduation.
“This is an investment in our people, the most valuable asset Starbucks has,” he says. The strategy also opens up further career opportunities at the brand.
“The approximate $30 000 cost of two years of tuition is worth it to keep quality employees with the company. To achieve the expected level of customer service, it needs bright workers who are there for the long term. Even if they do leave, Starbucks will have contributed something to the US economy.